November 16, (THEWILL) – The Swiss national football team were held to a 1-1 draw by Israel on Wednesday, delaying their qualification for the 2024 European Championships.
Playing in Felcsut, the Swiss took the lead in the 36th minute through a Ruben Vargas header. They looked set to claim the victory needed to book their spot in Germany for Euro 2024 with two games to spare. However, a late strike in the 88th minute by Israel’s Shon Weissman, snatched a point for the hosts.
The Swiss, currently top of Group I, went into the game knowing a win would seal qualification for a sixth straight major tournament. They started brightly, with chances for Vargas and Noah Okafor, who hit the post. Vargas eventually gave Switzerland the lead, heading home before also striking the bar. Israel improved in the second half, going close through Anan Khalaili. However, Weissman’s late intervention means the Swiss must now wait until Saturday’s game against Kosovo to secure qualification.
There was late drama when Edimilson Fernandes received a red card for the visitors. He will now be suspended for the crucial clash in Basle. Israel, playing home matches in Hungary due to conflict with Hamas, are still in contention themselves. They likely need to beat Romania on Saturday to keep their automatic qualification hopes alive.
For Switzerland manager, Murat Yakin, this was a frustrating night. Now they face a nervous final two games, knowing qualification is not yet guaranteed. They will need to regroup quickly before facing Kosovo.
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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.